Over 100 DOT staff members, consultants and other transportation professionals convened at the e-Construction Summit held October 26-27, 2016 in Portsmouth-Norfolk, VA to discuss how e-Construction processes improve efficiencies, collaboration and safety while increasing accuracy and decreasing costs. Hosted by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), the US Department of Transportation (USDOT) and the UVA Transportation Training Academy (TTA) serving as the LTAP Center for the Commonwealth of Virginia, the conference provided a forum for leveraging e-construction technology on construction projects and addressing challenges related to implementing e-Construction initiatives.
The Every Day Counts (EDC) (https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/innovation/everydaycounts/) initiative is one of several FHWA strategic innovation deployment programs aimed at identifying and prioritizing new ways to plan, design, build and maintain highways. The future of transportation design and construction is not only in innovative technologies, materials and approaches, but also in the widespread adoption of e-Construction processes. These processes incorporate electronic submission of construction documentation, electronic document routing/approvals and digital management of construction documentation in a secure environment.
By eliminating the traditional paper-based approach, significant savings in paper, printing and storage costs as well as decreased communication delays and transmittal times are realized. The e-Construction process allows faster approvals, increased accuracy and enhanced document tracking, all while increasing transparency.
Speakers from a number of DOTs, as well as industry representatives, provided insights from the field on e-Construction topics including:
- electronic document management systems to facilitate the creation, distribution, review, approval and storage of project documents in a paperless and secured environment
- mobile devices and tablets to create more secure, organized and accessible work environments
- unmanned aerial systems (UAS), commonly known as “drones”, to enhance surveying and photogrammetry capabilities
- 3D and 4D design documents to improve constructability and provide cost savings
- digital signatures to ensure encryption with digital codes and to demonstrate the authenticity of messages, enabling efficient routing and approvals
- e-Ticketing to create an efficient paperless process for documenting deliveries to construction sites.
Industry perspectives were provided by Jim Holtje (PCL Civil Constructors), Marc Papini (Haley & Aldrich), Brian Deery (AGC of America), Paul Beckwith (LEED Navigator CS) and Edwin Elmendorp (CADAC).
Representatives from a number of DOTs, including Delaware, Florida, Iowa, Pennsylvania, Utah and Virginia, provided case studies and implementation strategies.
In closing, Kathryn Weisner, FHWA Resource Center, invited attendees to visit the FHWA website at https://www.fhwa.dot.gov/innovation/everydaycounts/edc-3/econstruction.cfm for on-going e-Construction updates and resources.